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Despite China’s strict lockdown policies in line with its zero-COVID stance, the country can’t quite squash out the highly contagious and transmissible coronavirus. On Saturday, China recorded nearly 1,000 COVID cases across the country, with the majority of its cases in the northwestern province of Gansu and the southern region of Guangxi. Undoubtedly, part of getting to that zero-COVID state, though, is getting its 1.3 billion residents vaccinated with its domestic vaccines. But the issue is that around 267 million residents over 60 years old have been worried about the side effects and, therefore, reluctant to get vaxxed, contributing to China’s limbo state. On top of this, unlike many world heads, like Biden, who got vaxxed on TV, China has kept pretty tight-lipped on President Xi’s vaccination status.
Earlier on this month, Chinese officials tried to put in place a vaccine requirement for anyone who wanted to enter public venues, but it sparked massive backlash online, with people saying it was a violation of their freedoms and questioning how effective vaccines are against variants. With that, Beijing scrapped the mandate. On Saturday, the government health agency came out to say at a press briefing that all its leaders have gotten vaxxed with local vaccines and were “highly confident” in it.
“China’s state and Party leaders have all been vaccinated against COVID-19 with domestically made shots,” said Zeng Yixin, deputy head of the National Health Commission, on Saturday at a press briefing.
“COVID vaccines do not cause leukemia or diabetes, nor do they affect genetic development, cause tumor metastasis or antibody-dependent enhancement, and those are irresponsible, false information on the internet,” said infectious disease expert at a hospital affiliated with the Chinese military Wang Fusheng.